Big Boy Pants v. Douchewaffle
It’s not that this is an especially crappy weekend, it’s just a generally crappy weekend. Because of a job I’ve got at the end of the month (good news! freelance work!), we can’t go to Lisa’s family’s place over Thanksgiving (bad news!). Thanksgiving was when we were planning on bequeathing our dog to her parents, and since we won’t be going down then, Lisa drove her sister, visiting from Alaska (good news! fun visitors!), down yesterday. With the dog (bad news – two weeks early). With no Lisa and no dog, just me and the cats, it is a remarkably Quiet Household.
My sister-in-law expressed some amazement that we were willing to part with the dog, having raised her since she was 8 weeks old after we adopted her from a humane society. Here’s the thing – we used to own a house with a fenced backyard. Zlina (said dog) liked to laze in (said) yard as long as the temperature hovered between 20F-85F. She was outside a lot. We lived near parks and she ran all over. Now we live in an apartment. Our neighbor hates her so we don’t keep her in the small fenced space behind us in which there is no grass anyway. She is inside most of the day. She is always on leash and she runs relatively little. On the other hand, she adores my father-in-law and gets to guard his vast yard from all the squirrels she can chase.
It’s not that we want to get rid of our dog, but she’s obviously, visibly happier in that space than she is in this space. We adopted the dog for ourselves, but now that we care for her as much as we do, it strikes us as cruel to keep her when she can be happier elsewhere, and my father-in-law adores her right back, so there’s no major imposition on that front.
Being a grown up means being responsible. It means being capable of making difficult decisions, even when those are self-evidently unpleasant. I mean, Lisa and I would both be happier in theory to keep the dog with us, except for the near constant reminder that she’s bored and mopey at our home. So we put on our Big Kid Pants and packed up the dog’s stuff into the car yesterday.
Being a grown up means wearing Big Kid Pants. I can’t speak for Lisa’s, but mine are itchy and uncomfortable and I don’t like wearing them. Here’s the thing – if I don’t wear them and make the right decision, because in this case there is only one right decision – I’m just a first-degree douchewaffle who’s torturing a dog because a) she’s mine and b) I can.
In sum: Zlina is happy and we can visit whenever we want to make the six hour drive. We’re less happy for ourselves, more happy for Zlina. That’s got to be good enough.